What Every Investor “Should Know” About Investment Industry Technology
Why would/should we care about the technology behind our investments?
It is really easy to think that technology is like an on/off switch. It is either ON (working) or OFF (not working), and that all you need to concern yourself with, as a consumer, is that the company that handles your investments 1) knows what they are doing and 2) has uptime during market hours. If those two elements are covered then you don’t have anything to worry about. Right?
Not quite. While it should not be an expectation that you have a programming degree, and it would be inappropriate for you to have access to all of the proprietary code that is used at the firm, there is more to the technology that runs the investment tools than just the ON/OFF. Also, many times, the client/investor is talking to an investment advisor and it is not uncommon that they do not fully know whether or not the technology is working correctly at their firm. After all, if something is “broken” is it likely that the technology department “wants to” go running to the advisors who deal with clients and give them the “worst case scenario?” It is more likely that they will spend their time trying to fix it than to enlighten the advisors prematurely.